Wills and Bequests

Goal: Defer a gift until after your lifetime.
Benefit: Your donations are fully exempt from federal estate tax and you retain control of your assets.

Perhaps the worst word ever heard in probate is intestate, dying without a will. Dying intestate prolongs the distribution of assets and in some cases precludes heirs from benefiting from a decedent's estate. Dying intestate empowers the state in which the person died to distribute the assets of the person who died according to the laws of that state.

Everyone should have a will. If you have not written a will yet, regardless of your charitable intent, please consider this for it is a gift to your loved ones. A will ensures that assets are distributed as planned, and that other property is passed on per the decedent's wishes.

There is some additional information available about the benefits of utilizing a charitable bequest and how bequests enable you to keep control of your assets. There is also information regarding living trusts. Also, bequests are often used to build an endowment, a fund that provides a legacy for you and provides for the future of McLeod Health. Codicils are a simple and easy way to make changes to an existing will.

Other Strategies

Using funds from a retirement account to make bequests is often a good strategy. If there is a balance in your retirement account at your death, not only is there a potential income tax burden, but there may be estate taxes as well. Estimates are that taxes could eat up as much as 70-75% of retirement assets under certain circumstances. Careful planning concerning retirement funds needs to be done.

Another option to consider in making a gift is to use life insurance policies that are no longer needed or necessary. There are some different ways to make a gift of life insurance.

More Details on Wills & Bequests

Examples of Bequest Language

Please note that gifts of this nature should be carefully considered in relation to your comprehensive financial and estate plans. We strongly recommend that you consult an attorney in the preparation of your will and to supervise its execution so as to comply with your state requirements.

The following are examples for illustration only.

  • When including a bequest provision in your will, always use the full legal name and provide the federal taxpayer identification number.
  • Our full, legal name is: "McLeod Health Foundation."
  • Our federal taxpayer identification number is: 57-0818672.

Bequests for Unrestricted Purposes

Unrestricted gifts are to be used for the greatest need at the time to be determined by the Board. A general unrestricted bequest is especially valued by us.

- For a bequest of securities, the possible language is: "I give McLeod Health Foundation all of my shares of XYZ stock or mutual fund to be used for the benefit of McLeod Health Foundation."

- For a bequest of cash, the possible language is: "I give to McLeod Health Foundation the sum of (Amount) to be used for the benefit of McLeod Health Foundation."

If you do not want to specify the exact amount or nature of the intended gift, perhaps because the size of the future estate is difficult to estimate, a proportional bequest is often the best way to accomplish your goals. We would receive a percentage of the estate or the residue of the estate, after all other provisions have been met.

- Possible language is: "I give to McLeod Health Foundation (percent) of my estate, or (percent of the rest, residue and remainder) of my estate to be used for the benefit of McLeod Health Foundation."

Contingent Bequest

A contingent bequest takes effect only if the primary intention cannot be met (e.g. if the primary beneficiary does not survive the donor). This ensures that property will not be distributed to unintended beneficiaries.

- Possible language is: "If (name of primary beneficiary) does not survive me, or shall die during the administration of my estate, or as a result of a common disaster, then I give to McLeod Health Foundation all of the rest, residue, and remainder of my estate, to be used for the benefit of McLeod Health Foundation."

Bequests for Restricted Purposes

If you would like to honor a family member, a special person or provide support for a specific program or department that was meaningful to you, then you can designate your bequest specifically for that purpose. You simply use any form of the possible language included above, and replace "to be used for the benefit of [ insert purpose or intent ]" with the specific designation. Often specific guidelines govern the use of these types of funds. Therefore, we recommend that you contact us to discuss your restricted gift. We are here to help you as you plan.

If you already have a will

A codicil is a written change or amendment to a will. Click here for a printable copy of what a codicil would look like. Please remember to consult your attorney to make sure you are properly advised.

Thank you for remembering McLeod Health Foundation.

  • Your Free Guide

    You Can Add McLeod Health to Your Will or IRA

    You can order your free helpful guide by Click here, to download a digital version or to have a hard copy mailed to your home, please contact the McLeod Foundation at (843) 777-2694 or email Elizabeth.Jones@mcleodhealth.org.

  • Gifts by Will – Getting Started is Easier Than You Think

    To make it straightforward and easy for you to begin writing your will, we’ve partnered with FreeWill. Click here to start the process of writing your will at no cost to you. Including a gift to the McLeod Foundation is a powerful way to ensure future generations have access to outstanding medical care.


    This tool is free to you whether you choose to include a gift to the McLeod Foundation or not, and can be used to create a fully valid legal will or guide you through planning your will before finding a lawyer near you.

    These services are free to you whether you include a gift to the McLeod Health Foundation or not. Free Will is not affiliated with McLeod Health or the Foundation, and McLeod Health makes no endorsements of its services. If you have questions about your will, you should seek the advice of legal counsel.

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For more information or a confidential discussion of your charitable options, please
email or call, Elizabeth Jones, at (843) 777-2694.

Please note, individual financial circumstances will vary. The information on this site does not constitute legal or tax advice. Donor stories and photographs are for purposes of illustration only. As with all tax and estate planning, please consult your attorney or estate specialist. You may also contact a member of the Professional Advisory Council. All material is copyrighted and is for viewing purposes only. Use of this site signifies your agreement with the terms of use. The content in this Legacy Giving section has been developed for McLeod Health Foundation and is owned by Future Focus. Please report any problems to section webmaster.